Leading up to the opening of the 2022-23 Big 12 Men’s basketball season Heartland College Sports will analyze each of the Big 12 men’s basketball rosters. Today it’s the Kansas State Wildcats.
2021-22 Season-Ending Roster: F Davion Bradford, F Jordan Brooks, G Maximus Edwards, F Kaosi Ezeagu, G Trey Harris, G Drew Honas, G Luke Kasubke, F Logan Landers, F Seryee Lewis, F Carlton Linguard, F Ishmael Massoud, G Mike McGuirl, G Selton Miguel, G Markquis Nowell, G Nijel Pack, G Mark Smith
No longer at Kansas State: Bradford (transferred to Wake Forest), Brooks (not on roster), Edwards (transferred to George Washington), Ezeagu (transferred to Sam Houston), Harris (not on roster), Honas (entered transfer portal), Kasubke (transferred to Illinois State), Landers (transferred to Grand Canyon), Lewis (transferred to Rice), Linguard (transferred to UTSA), Mike McGuirl (out of eligibility), Miguel (transferred to USF), Pack (transferred to Miami), Smith (out of eligibility).
2022-23 Season-Opening Roster: G Peyton Ackerman (5-11, Fr.), G Nate Awbrey (6-3, Sr.), G Cam Carter (6-3, So.), C Jerrell Colbert (6-10, So.), G Dorian Finister (6-5, Fr.), G Tykei Greene (6-4, Sr.), C Abayomi Iyiola (6-10, Sr.), F Keyontae Johnson (6-6, Sr.), F Taj Manning (6-8, Fr.), F Ishmal Massoud (6-9, Jr.), F David N’Guessan (6-9, Jr.), G Markquis Nowell (5-8, Sr.), G Desi Sills (6-2 , Sr.), G Anthony Thomas (6-7, So.), F Nae’Quan Tomlin (6-8, Jr.)
How The Wildcats Are Built
Returning Players (2): Massoud, Nowell.
Transfers (10): Awbrey (walked on from Manhattan Christian College), Carter (transferred from Mississippi State), Colbert (transferred from LSU), Greene (transferred from Stony Brook), Iyiola (transferred from Hofstra), Johnson (transferred from Florida), N’Guessan (transferred from Virginia Tech), Sills (transferred from Arkansas State), Thomas (transferred from Tallahassee Community College, Fla.), Tomlin (transferred from Chipola College, Fla.)
Freshman/Recruiting Class (5): G Peyton Ackerman, Finister, Manning.
Potential starting lineup: Johnson, Iyiola, Massoud, Nowell, Sills
Why?: It’s incredibly hard to get a read on a potential starting lineup given the turnover. The only two holdovers are Massoud and Nowell. The latter averaged 12.4 points and led the Wildcats in assists. Massoud averaged nearly seven points per game. From there, you have to look to the transfers and see where the experience is. Johnson should start, and he was a big get for new head coach Jerome Tang late in the transfer cycle (averaged 11 points with 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals at Florida). Sills has the experience to work with Nowell in the backcourt. Iyiloa is on his fourth program, but he’s a productive big man who can crash the glass.
The bench: Carter, Colbert, Greene, N’Guessan, Thomas
Why? The race for minutes is wide open on this roster. While I have Iyiola and Sills penciled in as probable starters, most of those listed on the bench are at K-State because they didn’t get the opportunity they were hoping for at their last school. They’re going to get playing time. The question is which one accelerates the fastest to challenge for starting time, whether that be in October or January.
The wild card: Manning. He’s a holdover, in a sense. He signed with K-State last November, before Bruce Weber’s resignation in March. He honored the signing despite the coaching change. He helped the La Lumiere School to the GEICO National Championships and won two state titles in high school career. He won’t get much playing time to start with, but he has the talent to push his way in.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.